Kin + Carta CEO to step down at end of July

J Schwan, CEO of Kin + Carta

Kin + Carta, the London Stock Exchange-listed digital transformation consultancy, has announced that CEO J Schwan is retiring from the role at the end of July. He will be succeeded by Kelly Manthey, Group Chief Executive of Kin + Carta Americas, from 1st August 2022.

The changes also see Chris Kutsor, Kin + Carta’s Chief Financial Officer, take on the additional role of Chief Operating Officer. The rest of the leadership group, consisting of Chief Strategy Officer Richard Neish, and Europe Group Chief Executive David Tuck, remains in place.

The moves are part of a planned succession strategy that sees the global consultancy build on its three-year transformation as the consultancy enters an ambitious growth phase, profitably scaling both organically and through acquisition.

Manthey will take over from Schwan to ensure a seamless execution of the growth strategy, using her operational expertise to drive global scale. She has been in the business of digital transformation for 25 years, with a career that has spanned every role in the business.

Heading up Kin + Carta’s Americas region, Manthey has been instrumental in building a growth-minded business with a strong, diverse and progressive culture. The region now accounts for 70% of Kin + Carta’s revenue, growing from 400 people when Manthey was appointed as Americas Group Chief Executive, to 1100 today.

Her career includes serving as CEO of Solstice, the agency Schwan founded in 2001. Solstice was acquired by St Ives in 2015 and added to its diverse portfolio of digital marketing services agencies. Schwan took over as St Ives CEO in August 2018 and spearheaded its transformation into Kin + Carta, restructuring the legacy portfolio of businesses into a single firm with a common mission of “building a world that works better for everyone.”

Schwan has led the consolidation of operations into two core trading regions (Americas and Europe), a globally aligned suite of services that solve the most business-critical digital transformation problems and a culture with social responsibility built into its core. In 2021, Kin + Carta became the first certified B Corporation on the London Stock Exchange and the first publicly traded company in its sector to achieve the certification. The business has also seen a significant acquisition drive including; Spire Digital, Cascade Data Labs, Loop, Melon Group (including Frakton), and Octain AI.

Schwan more than doubled the market capitalization of the company during his four-year tenure as CEO, returning over 115% in total shareholder return, putting Kin + Carta’s performance in the top 3% of the FTSE All Share. The company has posted an outlook of 49% growth for FY22.

J Schwan said: “Kin + Carta’s transformation is now complete and a new, exciting growth chapter is underway. I’m incredibly proud to have played a role in building Kin + Carta and I’m delighted to be handing leadership to Kelly who has been central to our progress. After a fulfilling and rewarding 25-year journey, it’s time for me to retire from consulting and look at pursuing projects in different domains.

“I will continue to be a happy and supportive advisor, shareholder and advocate for Kin + Carta during this next exciting phase of growth. I wish Kelly and the business every success as the company scales and I’d like to thank my colleagues for their hard work, drive and belief.”

Manthey added: “I am honoured to lead the next chapter of Kin + Carta’s growth story as we scale globally, building on strong foundations, with an excellent leadership group, bound by a commitment to using business as a force for good. I am excited to continue serving our valued clients, shareholders and the fantastic Kin + Carta team as we build a world that works better for everyone.”